Skip to main content
5:00 am
bisulfite? >> i am not sure if the test came today. >> waste water enterprise. the question is, does that chemical then a we have -- then reach the bay? there is a chemical reaction that is happening. there is a reaction, and it is no longer present as sodium bisulfite, and we test to see that there is no interference with either of these chemicals in the bay. they have non-toxic effects. president vietor: epa?
5:01 am
>> it would be considered best practiced for waste water treatment -- best practice. president vietor: that is probably the standard they are using? is that correct? >> yes. president vietor: i thought the dollar amounts, -- amount, tommy, was $14 million? i saw the puc contribution to that is smaller. is that correct? >> the chart that i showed you is just waste water. the money table. president vietor: $14 million -- >> that is a citywide contract, and the puc and the airport, the
5:02 am
airport is about $32,000 annually. president vietor: city airport is the primary purchaser? >> no. -- so the airport is the primary purchaser? >> no. the airport is a fairly small amount. the puc use about half. waste water uses it at their treatment plant for about one- third. the $14 million was a three-year total. president vietor: there was also this question around the low- flow toilets. >> the question is not really about low-flow toilets. it is really about water conservation. i think it is important for us,
5:03 am
there is never going to be enough water. a lot of rain the last couple of years, but i think what your conversation, -- water conservation, we have to adapt to a whole new way of doing business. i do not think it is going to be returning to a couple of years ago for a very long time, so we must adopt not just the low-flow toilets and low-flow shower heads, but sea level rise, changing brain patterns, so there is a lot of agitation that has to happen. i believe one man will come up here to talk about that in his presentation -- changing rain patterns, so there is a lot of adaptation that has to happen. president vietor: getting more
5:04 am
serious to find alternatives that might be non-toxic? >> yes, we certainly have to look at alternatives, and part of the management team is going to be coming on. we are looking to put out the rfp. sewer design. as i just talked about, there is engineering solutions. there is chemical solutions. there are things that we can do. but, altogether, we have to look for the best solutions, and we still put it in an round pipe, or do we put in something else, so we can convey it faster? we will be looking heavily at that. president vietor: you could really look carefully at this chemical question, in particular, and as we are designing the new system, really find out the most non-toxic,
5:05 am
economic -- ecologically friendly way for our situation? >> we are all over it. president vietor: commissioners, any other comments or questions on this? thank you. secretary housh: we have not received any speaker cards on this item either. president vietor: maybe we should take public comment before we continue. are there any public comments? if you could introduce yourself? >> i am the director of sustainability. first of all, thank you for the invitation to come here, in the technology is in place, we are very happy to hear, first of all, the number from the story. that included not only the odor control but also waste water treatment and drinking water treatment, and we are really happy to see an investigation of
5:06 am
other more environmentally friendly technologies. this is a lot of what we look at in our formulations. just to be clear, we do not sell anything that would actually solve this problem. as a technical resource, we would be happy to be that, and perhaps in those dozens of vendors who have called in the past few days, something promising will come along. president vietor: thank you. we appreciate that. maybe you can give your card? sir? >> hello, i am with the san francisco green party, the chair of the sustainability working group, and i want to note, and i have said before, and it will come up later hopefully in the later presentation -- especially with global warming being what it is, we are likely to lose most or even all of our snowpack
5:07 am
in the mountains. we are going to have to conserve water even more, so we cannot go in the direction of putting more flushing into the sewer system, and, of course, for sustainability purposes, it makes no sense to be dumping chlorine into our drains, even if it then goes through the waste water process, because that just makes the waste water process more expensive and more difficult. we switched to chlorine -- now, i can see that 20% of the chlorine we are buying is going into the sewer system. especially when chloramine may be causing other problems, a danger to fish also. one of the things i did not hear, i think it is time for the sfpuc to do a pilot project and
5:08 am
get serious about it, and that is composting it, other types of toilets. right now, they are expensive, but if we really get on it and make a city policy to do a test on it and move towards it so we are moving towards composting toilet in san francisco, we would be doing an amazing thing for the environment, and we will even be creating soil at the same time, as well as that material will not be going into the sewer system, where it will cause contamination, coders, and problems with floods, -- cause contamination, odors, problems with floods, with the increase in sea level. commissioner: [chuckles]
5:09 am
president vietor: i think this is an issue that we will continually have to address, so i think the composting issue is a good one. thank you. >> commissioners, i just wanted to add -- living library. i just wanted to add one thought, and that there has been work done with biological success in changing water through plants and fish through various tanks, and i think it might be very wonderful for us to have a pilot, where we experienced. experiment with cleaning water through plants and other species -- where we experiment with cleaning water.
5:10 am
mitigating serious pollution. also, mushrooms, fungus is very good for cleaning, so i offer that. thank you. president vietor: thank you. i believe we have a living machine in our new area? >> yes. >> it might be possible in the various where we treat some of the -- in this my logical manner and we might be interested and surprised at the results and finding that we have very good water quality. and it could be used for irrigation and not sent to the bay. >> would you mind explaining what a campos toilet is -- comp
5:11 am
ost to-- would you mind explaining what a compost toilet is? >> i've never used one. from looking at the building behind our building to try to figure out, you still have to get rid of the compost. the people that lived in this area, what will they use it for? there are a lot of challenges around these kinds of things that we need to get out. >> my understanding is that it does not go into the sewage system, this goes into a hole in the ground and there are a natural products that can be added to neutralize. that is a general idea. >> this is like a septic tank.
5:12 am
>> many of them are self- contained, they go into a holding container underneath and you can add more things which provide more compost. this is taking the nutrients that are there and the human race and making them usable again. -- human waste and making them usable again. buseptic systems seem to have other things going on. this is land that has no water use because there's no water going here. this is often seen in more rural areas. there are many advantages to it. this is hard to imagine in a high-rise urban setting where you would not have a garden to take advantage of these. >> it would be interesting if we have at conversation about
5:13 am
municipal waste and the issues that we might be facing with our landfill filling up and the application issues at what we would like to look at in terms of our municipal waste overall. >> we need more information. it would be helpful to me. i do not know how it would work in urban settings but it be easy to find out. >> we will put that together for you. we are partnering with the folks at -- which they have when they are in operation. our staff is working closely with them to test out the technology. >> great. thank you. >> this is a segue to the next item. >> i want to make sure there is no other public comment on this. >> an update on climate change.
5:14 am
following up on the conversations that we just had. david behar is here to talk about climate change. >> good afternoon. i am here today to give an overview of our climate change projects. we will go through these relatively quickly. please feel free to ask questions at any time and interrupt. i am privileged to be able to work both locally and at the state level and nationally on these issues. what i appreciate is how we don't -- we are accepting of the fact of a climate change.
5:15 am
we know this is happening, it has been happening, it will happen in the future. this allows programs to reduce our carbon filament to be expected in the community and allows many of the programs in terms of assessing our vulnerability to the future and climate change can move forward without controversy. what is going on in congress is that we should be appreciative of our ability to do this. we will focus primarily on all of those issues but really zero in on adaptation and assessment a little bit more. i will split a side because i put them out of order. -- i will skip a slide because i put them out of order. we start with temperature, it used to be called the global warming, we say climate change today. this is warming. that is an inexorable single focused direction we have seen from the models.
5:16 am
we see a lot about a minimum verses maximum temperatures. nighttime temperatures have an impact on what happens with snowpack in the evening and that has an impact on how quickly snow melts when it gets going during the day. we have seen a significant increase in the past 20 years as opposed to a maximum temperatures where we have seen not much of a trend. also the effects of elevation, these are very important to us. precipitation, that is our bread and butter. what form does it fall into a range versus no, how much of it falls? the timing of precipitation. these are critical factors that are engaged in such work. the variability is where our vulnerability is come. this includes drought, storm intensity.
5:17 am
what is the severity of drought in the future? how much worse will storms get in the future? what will this mean for water quality? of course, there is a sea level rise. this is a critical factor for those of us along the coast. climate change affects the hydrological. precipitation, compensation. -- condensation. we are seen as first responders to the potential effect of climate change. our everyday work is bound up in the hydrological cycle. i'm going over not so much why we should care but how we should care about climate change, how
5:18 am
we should approach evaluating the issue. we are approaching this on a timer rise in which matches up with the way we think. most apartments have capital programs. frequently, we think of capital improvement programs, large ones, as being on a 20-30 year time horizon. we are building those that will have a life cycle of a hundred years are more. -- or more. it matches well with the way we think and the way we plan to think about climate change in this way and this is what we are doing. i often say that we are in a time of assessments rather than adaptation to day and there are exceptions to that. i will talk about one of those today. the questions we are asking ourselves is what is our vulnerability? what is the effect of climate change? i will talk about why that is and how it plays out.
5:19 am
one of the ways that to this plays out is the way to understand certainty. much of the work that we do and understating the potential impacts is bound up in uncertainty and a this is not the uncertainty that the climate the deniers in congress are talking about, although we have to be cognizant about confusing people. this is not uncertainty about the fact that this is happening but what it means. when we look at outputs on climate change that we need to think about are the ranges, not simple values. we seeing on quantifiable probability. these are the extremes that we might see in the future. -- these are non quantifiable probabilities. this is one of the challenges that you will hear about again and again as you deal with the climate change issues. finally, we are approaching looking at climate change from a
5:20 am
leadership position and being cutting edge at the state and local level. our general manager shares the water utility climate alliance which is one of the most important utilities focusing on climate change intensity. we have a number of other initiatives that we are engaged in at the federal and state level. we think that these are important to do so that we understand what is happening out there while we are also making sure that we are focusing on our own operations and infrastructure and vulnerability. what i will do is focus in on a couple of key initiatives starting with the water enterprise. the first project i want to talk about is the pilot utility applications. we have made reference to this
5:21 am
before. this is a national project with local implementation. it has five utilities from around the country, four size programs based where those regions exist and a modeling advisory committee made up of climate scientists and practitioners in the adaptation community that will help us proceed with this project. as this emerges from the work with the climate utility alliance. federal agencies who are really in the league in terms of public officials trying to deal with a lot of this. our fellow water providers, etc.. what became to is the idea that we need a state of the art assessment for each of us individually that is informative across the different regions. new york, san francisco, fla. learned from one another.
5:22 am
each of our individual assessments bound together nationally in a way that will help us to do a state of the art assessment and learn as we go. that is what the project is about. starting at the top, what happened? that is down. starting at the top of the models of the slide we presented in the past, what are the state of the art climate modeling tools and techniques which she used in any assessment? -- which we should use in any assessment? all models are wrong but some are useful. which ones are useful, which are more wrong than others, which should we use? not just blindly following the data that we get but as the assessment requires and looking
5:23 am
at what that data tells us or does not tell us and incorporate this that we get from non modeling tools and using this in our assessment. we are moving forward with that aspect which i would say is the most difficult part of what we have to do in the project. we are understanding what these models tell us or don't tell us. we will translate data that we get into a form that we can use in our downstream tools. the models that we use for the management of our system. we need to build a national collaboration and at the end of the day, we will assess the potential impact on our water supply. we have been working on building this for about a year and it will be at least a year before we have some answers.
5:24 am
our official goal is to finish in 2011 and the unofficial goal is to get it in early 2012 because it will take a lot of different parts moving in intelligent well -- and intelligent ways for the first time. i'm hoping that we have some output on this in a year. one of the schools that we prol of our future projects -- one of the tools that we will have in this project and for all of our future projects is this model. we are nearing completion on calibration of our model. hydrology models are models of the physical processes that occur and the watershed, things like soil moisture infiltration, a separation. they tell you what the stream flow will be.
5:25 am
they received as and put things like precipitation entablature. they allow us to change precipitation to accommodate some hypothetical future under climate change scenarios so we can evaluate the effect of those potential futures on runoff. that is step one in understanding the water supply impact as we discussed. other factors that it can't receive includes wind and solar radiation that can have effects different than solar radiation. this is fairly complex. leveraging a lot of the work that the district did in developing this model first, working with it for 10 years and then with us, in the first phase of our calibration effort. we invested in tweaking the model so it reproduced the past hydrology using past information as much as possible.
5:26 am
we've leveraged 10-years of work that was done as well the project that we done and we have taken over the calibration ourselves in the water enterprise and are on the edge of finishing the project right now to give us a model that we think will be wrong but useful in terms of predicting what happens in the watershed when precipitation and temperature and other factors change. part of the calibration project is to conduct a sensitivity analysis of our systems. the sensitivity of inflow to changes in precipitation and temperature primarily that we think we will see potentially or hypothetically from climate change. this is not a climate change projection. this is a sensitivity analysis
5:27 am
that looks at low end prediction for temperature increases, high and predictions for temperature increases, low-end predictions for temperature changes. up -- for precipitation changes. then high and changes on the negative side to create a set of scenarios. this ends up being 18 different parings of temperature and precipitation change. what that will do is bound for us the range of potential effects that we will see if any of those scenarios for to come true. on the worst and, you have a 5.4 degree temperature increase which is about 9 degrees fahrenheit. this is pretty significant. this is the top and temperature change which was reported in 2007. we will see if that changes in the future.
5:28 am
at the high-end, we factored in a decrease in precipitation of 15%. at the end of the day, we will get that worst-case scenario and a best case scenario, with 0.6 degrees celsius and an increase of 2%. it will tell us where we need to worry. what do we need to worry about if things come true in terms of the inflow? this is not a water supply analysis, however. to get to water supply, you have to take the next step down, take the inflow, then we need to model our local water system. 15% of the water that falls as rain into our system. obviously, there is no snow pack their but what is the effect of rain antipater? we need to run this through our operations model to tell us what the potential impact on water supply would be.
5:29 am
this is a step by step process. it will end with the operations modeling and an assessment of what our potential supply impact would be. that is what the project will use using climate modeling output of that represents the state of the science. that is what the sensitivity analysis will began to do for inflow. we will see where we go after we get that information on the shorter term. that is water. let's talk about wastewater enterprise initiatives. if there is one thing that moves us from assessment to adaptation, it is sea level rise, especially as we live along the coast. the sea level predictions are only going in one direction. we have already seen a sea level increase in the past year.

March 14, 2011 5:00am-5:30am PDT

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 15, Vietor 13, San Francisco 3, David Behar 1, Epa 1, City 1, Fungus 1, Sfpuc 1, Sodium Bisulfite 1, Flushing 1, New York 1, Etc. 1, Fla. 1, Adaptation 1, The High-end 1, Tommy 1
Network SFGTV
Duration 00:30:00
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 89 (615 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color